Money Matters - Simplified

Macs Get Mighty Mouse

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Apple on Tuesday unveiled its first multiple button mouse, including four sensors and a tiny scroll ball for 360 degree scrolling. The "Mighty Mouse" as the company calls it looks very similar to the single button model Macs are used to.

Mighty Mouse has touch sensors underneath the mouse’s curves surface that act as primary and secondary buttons, so clicking on the right side of the mouse will reveal menus in applications. It also has two other buttons on the sides, which can be programmed to offer one-click access to features within the Mac OS X Tiger operating system.

Scott Brodrick, Apple product manager, Mighty Mouse product marketing, praised "the simplicity of the original design," which he said was important in creating the new mouse.

"It has a seamless shell," Brodrick said. "You can click anywhere on the top shell and use it as the button. That’s true of left-handed users as well as right-handed users, kids and adults."

He said capacitive sensors under the front part of the mouse’s shell determine where a user’s finger is. Depending on how the user programs the mouse, either side of the mouse’s top can serve as a primary or secondary click -- which most users know as a "right-click."

"I refer to it as the ’secondary click,’ because as a left-handed user, you can reverse the buttons," Brodrick said. "That’s a nice feature that’s exposed by virtue of having the sensors under there and by the [hardware] preference pane. It works for all kinds of users. And if you don’t want to have access to those additional features then you can use it as a single-button mouse."

One of the major appeals of the mouse is the "scroll ball" which lets users scroll through a page in any direction they desire, vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Provided whatever you’re looking at is big enough.

Rumors that Apple was developing a two-button mouse first surfaced in mid-March on Apple enthusiast sites. At the time, it was reported to be wireless, however the mouse introduced by Apple Tuesday is not.

The Mouse goes on sale later today and yes it does work on Microsoft Windows.